I have a friend who, despite being a thoroughly contemporary, urbane guy—he would say a hip dude—lives in the old fashioned world of a cash economy. Just like his parents did, he says.
Unlike most 40-somethings and younger, he carries no debt other than a mortgage. He does this in part because he enjoys his privacy, and in part because he doesn’t want to spend beyond his means.
But he also lives on cash because he likes to give away money.
He gives away a fair chunk of change each year-end. And by change I mean he turns in coins measured by the pound—maybe even by the metric ton—so he can give it away.
He doesn’t make a ton of money. But he gives away a lot of it.
How does he do it?
Each time he buys something, he puts the change in a jar when he gets home—or in the coffee can that lives in his car. And because every purchase he makes is a cash transaction, that’s a lot of coin.
At around Thanksgiving each year, he deposits it all into his checking account, goes home, and writes out checks to the charitable organizations he wants to support, holding back a little for a contribution to his church to supplement his regular offering.
He’s not involved in any group; he’s not a joiner. He just appreciates the work others do to solve problems, spay and neuter stray animals, teach people to read, maintain parks and trails, care for the dying—and whatever else he decides to support each year.
I’m not as good at saving money as my friend, but I like his attitude about making giving to good causes part of the household budget.
As the holiday season begins, so does the unofficial season for year-end giving.
There are wonderful worthwhile charities in Clarke County that do special work in our community. If you’re not someone who typically gives a little bit every year, maybe this can be the year that you find one that’s doing work you can get behind—whatever your interests in bettering the world around you.
It might be too late to amass a major sum by saving your coins, but every bit is an investment in community and your own ideals for the future.
Wishing you all the best at Thanksgiving.